Any adult resident of this state, whether married, unmarried or legally separated, is eligible to qualify to adopt children. A husband and wife may jointly adopt children.
A. Any adult resident of this state, whether married, unmarried or legally separated, is eligible to qualify to adopt children. A husband and wife may jointly adopt children.
B. Pursuant to rules adopted by the division, the division or an agency shall place a child who is in the custody of the state and who has a case plan goal of adoption with any person who is certified by the court as acceptable to adopt children. The division or agency must give primary consideration to placement with a married couple and may consider placement with a single person only if a qualified married couple is not available, unless any of the following applies:
1. The single person is a legal relative of the child.
2. The alternative for the child is extended foster care.
3. A meaningful and healthy relationship between the single person and the child has already been established.
4. The child's best interests require the adoption by the single person.
5. The adoption is the result of a direct placement adoption.
Among the sponsors are our old friend Frank Antenori (R-Not Tucson), who favors protecting women's delicate constitutions from difficult things like decision-making and thinking and stuff, and yesterday's rockstar of the day, Judy Burges (R-an intersection west of Prescott), who thinks Obama is a secret muslin foreigner. I have not been able to locate any comments by these two or any of the several other all-Republican sponsors, and I am very interested in what they will have to say.
Exceptions 2 and 4 listed above (alternative is extended foster care/adoption by the single person is in the best interest of the child) would seem to leave a sufficient amount of leeway for single people or unmarried couples (read: gay) to argue that they shouldn't be sent to the back of the line for a specific child, although if that's the case I wonder why Antenori and company inserted them in the first place. Well, unless the main point of this exercise is to jab a pointy stick in teh gays' eyes just because they can, and I suppose that should never be ruled out where the Arizona statehouse is concerned.
However, if you're an unmarried single or partnered person who knows you want to adopt, but aren't personally acquainted with a child who needs adopting and who you can leverage the exceptions for, it sounds like you're screwed until all the prospective straight married people who suddenly line-jumped you have been eliminated for one reason or another. In that case, your best bet appears to be requesting a special-needs child, since this will bump you up to official second-class status from what will be bottom-of-the-barrel status.
B. The division is not required to accept every application for certification. In determining which applications to accept the division may give priority to applications filed jointly by a husband and wife who are adult residents of this state and who wish to adopt a child who has any special needs as defined in section 8-141 and secondary priority to single adult residents of this state who wish to adopt a child who has any special needs as defined in section 8‑141.
The evaluation process remains unchanged from its current structure, which oddly--to me, anyway--specifically spells out that the moral and religious characters of the prospective parents are to be evaluated by the state before stamping an application as a go or a no go. More on how this plays out when once it starts playing.